Chip's got the hot life at Oregon

SPORTSLAND starts with some commentary on Chip Kelly
Jan. 7, 2013

So, what if the NFL isn't willing to pay for Chip Kelly the way he wants to be paid - with unique benefits.

Maybe, what the Cleveland Browns needed was a tour of Kelly's new office, which includes a hot tub.

There's a cable network series just waiting to be made based on Kelly and his office hot tub at the University of Oregon. "Executive Hot Tub," where producers find struggling businesses with potential space and then install a hot tub.

Imagine the smiles from those business owners.

Whatever Kelly saw in his tour of the beleagured NFL teams, he apparently didn't see a reason to leave Oregon and another upcoming run at the national championship. Oregon may very well open the season ranked No. 1 or 2, which the cast of Sportsland delved into in the first episode of 2013. There's the college football world, thoughts on the most likely road team to win in the NFL playoffs this weekend, and a review of the Blazers' run at making Damian Lillard the NBA Rookie of the Year as well as Terry Stotts the NBA Coach of the Year.

Oregon and Oregon State opened their Pac-12 Conference schedules on a unique night - Sunday, and the Ducks continue to put up a solid resume for being a challenger for the conference title.

And, the Winterhawks, they're in there, too.

It's all in 49 minutes of Podcasting from Blitz in the Pearl, located in Northwest Portland.




Pac-12 goes on trial at Arizona State

Thu, 10/18/2012 - 9:27am
Cliff Pfenning
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With the college football season heading for the second half and the BCS Rankings entering every fans' inner man cave, Oregon's game at Arizona State Thursday night carries a lot more weight than just a regular Pac-12 game.

It's an Oregon victory just waiting for the opening kickoff, but the key part most of the nation will be watching isn't the Ducks, but the Sun Devils. The nation won't be looking at how much the Ducks win by, but how the Devils lose - can they make the game interesting for 60 minutes?

How Oregon blows apart the league - other than USC and Stanford last year, is the key reason why Oregon got bumped behind Florida in the BCS even though the Gators have a loss on their record. That's the same deal that happened last year with Alabama and LSU (which ultimately led to the least entertaining championship game in years).

ASU enters the game at 5-1, so it's got the record to promote there's an exciting game waiting to happen. But, the Ducks have gone right through those cases on the way to the conference title the past three seasons.

So, ASU looks like a good team - on paper, but can they put it together on the field and not only play well, but make Oregon have to play really well to win?

What's a good score that'll show that off to the BCS computers?

Oregon 31, ASU 23

The Devils have the ball at the end of the game, but Oregon shuts 'em down at the 25.


The BCS will take care of itself for Oregon

Mon, 11/14/2011 - 6:41am
Cliff Pfenning
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Last seen: 19 hours 38 min ago
Joined: 2010-07-01

Looking at the latest BCS football rankings, it's pretty easy to get a little pumped up about where the Oregon Ducks are in relation to Alabama and look ahead to what might happen if certain wins and losses play out the right way.

Oregon might get screwed and not be in the national title game for a second straight year because Eastern voters are in love with the Southeastern Conference.

The BCS computers love the SEC, too.

But, Oregon fans, and college football fans nationally, needn't worry about what might happen if LSU wins the SEC title game, Oregon wins the Pac-12 title, Oklahoma State loses to Oklahoma and Alabama wins its last two games.

Oregon should be in the final. Or the BCS should be scrapped in favor of a playoff system.

I'd be happy either way.

For starters, Oregon won't get into the final without an Oklahoma State loss. That's to Oklahoma, which is right on the heels of the Ducks, and would give Sooners fans a huge argument in favor of their school being in the final.

It's not hard to see the SEC champion in the final, too, since much of the Top 25 involves SEC teams, so that champion has earned its place if it's LSU, Alabama or Arkansas. Only an upset in the final by Georgia would open that spot up to Oregon or Oklahoma.

What really messes the whole national title game up is LSU and Alabama winning out, Oklahoma State losing to Oklahoma and the BCS computer moving Alabama up to No. 2 and scheduling a rematch with LSU in the title game - even though Alabama would not be a conference champion.

This scenario would only happen because the Pac-12 is so weak - only Oregon is ranked this week, and the Big 12 doesn't have a conference title game.

Plenty of voters could easily argue Alabama would actually be the second-best team in the nation. And, they might be, too.

That scenario would scream for two more rounds of playoffs - the winners of the four big bowls: Orange, Suger, Fiesta and Rose; playing in two semifinals at home sites, and then the champions playing in the title game at the site already selected, say Jan. 21 this season. The college football world is already moving there, it just might move there faster if LSU and Alabama are in the title game this season.


If only LaMichael had gotten a few more touches

Tue, 01/11/2011 - 3:41pm
Cliff Pfenning
Cliff Pfenning's picture
Last seen: 19 hours 38 min ago
Joined: 2010-07-01

If the final stats had shown LaMichael James with 20 carries, Monday's loss in the national championship game would be a lot easier to handle. But they don't.

Instead, the final stats show James with 13 carries for 49 yards, while Auburn freshman Michael Dyer ran 22 times for 143 yards. As a fan, that's the toughest thing to take away from Oregon's last-second loss Monday night in Glendale, Ariz., Oregon's running game just never got going. Even tougher, it never seemed to get going from the coaching box. Auburn's defense beat Oregon mentally as well as physically, and that was enough to turn an Oregon blowout into an Auburn win.

When you look back at a game, regardless of the result, it's comforting to see the best players on the team you pull for had the most chances to affect the outcome, but James didn't. Orgon's offensive line might have had a lot of trouble with the Auburn D line, but James still managed almost 4 yards per carry - more than he did when the Ducks played at Cal. In that game, he got the ball 29 times and ran for just 91 yards - 3.1 per carry. Oregon dredged out a 15-13 win.

James carried the ball 25 times or more in seven of Oregon's final eight games leading into Glendale.

There's a key discussion point for the offseason - how do you keep everyone happy in a backfield with a lot of great players, especially while featuring a potential Heisman Trophy winner?

And, it's the offseason. With the Oregon basketball team in rebuilding mode and baseball still with the feel of a sport the Ducks have borrowed from Oregon State, it's time to settle back into the memories of the past season and look ahead to the divisional alignment and the specifics of the Pac-12 Title Game, which will be televised by FOX on Dec. 3 at the home stadium of the school with the best conference record.

The Pac-12 Title Game is five weeks ahead of the 2012 BCS Title Game, Jan. 9, in New Orleans.

It's just half the season

Mon, 10/11/2010 - 11:04am
Wanna Be Like Mike

Oregon was ranked No. 2 in both the AP poll and the Coaches' Poll after its 43-23 win at Washington State. At 6-0, the season is just half over and way too much is made of rankings. As Chip Kelly likes to say, "Who remembers what team was ranked No. 2 midway through the season last year?" They mean nothing and most importantly, Oregon knows it and the Ducks won't let it get to their heads.

Fans, meanwhile, don't have to have this mentality and it's fun to have your team in line to play in the national title game if they win out. But too many fans take the AP poll too seriously. It has absolutely no factor in the BCS standings. Jon Wilner, an AP voter from the San Jose Mercury News, as a ballot that is always peculiar, but it's his opinion. The comment section when he releases his ballot to the public is just brutal. He must have some very thick skin or he just doesn't read it.

Why fans take it so personally that he would not vote (insert team here) as high as they think he should is beyond me. The AP poll means NOTHING.

The BCS standings officially come out next Sunday, but ESPN put together a mock standings a week beforehand and Boise St. came out top with Oregon No. 2 and TCU No. 3. The uproar is just starting. But again, it means NOTHING, especially the Boise St. angle. Their Strength of Schedule will go down as they make their way through the weak WAC schedule and other teams' SOS's, ie, Oregon, Michigan St. Auburn, ect, will go up.

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